CINMA-San Martin, Bolivia
CINMA-San Martin is a forest concession in Bajo Paragua that has been managed by Dekma Bolivia since 2005.
Managing forests sustainably
Bolivia stands among the top 15 countries globally in terms of biodiversity and natural wealth. Approximately half of the country's territory (53,000,000 hectares) is covered in forests. In 1996 the government of Bolivia implemented their forest law, which led to forest operators adopting a more responsible approach in managing this precious natural resource. The law requires the formulation of management plans, inventories, and harvest limits, while also safeguarding the rights of Indigenous communities to sustainably manage their timber resources.
The Bolivian government has designated about 41,235,500 hectares as Permanent Production Forested Lands, which is predominantly managed by forest concessions like CINMA-San Martin. This 468,000 hectare area functions as an FSC certified forest, and is managed by Dekma Bolivia, a subsidiary of Royal Dekker. The organization carries out a reduced impact logging operation, which limits adverse effects on the landscape by restricting harvests to a maximum of three trees per hectare from pre-determined cutblocks every 25 years. This landscape management strategy creates viable employment opportunities for local community members while safeguarding forest biodiversity and its ecological services for generations to come.
Supporting local economic development
Along with being committed to protecting the forest, CINMA’s management team also functions to serve the needs of their staff. The concession's 200 employees are provided with good working conditions, fair wages, and healthcare services. Moreover, the company places a strong focus on training and development, which contributes positively to the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC) forest management in the region. This approach opens up new opportunities for the local population to grow and thrive. Dekma also works to empower local tribes by teaching them how to conduct their own forest inventories, granting them ownership over their natural resources.
Through its operations, Dekma provides a sustainable and economically viable alternative to the traditional practices of shifting cultivation and hunting of wild animals. By promoting responsible forest management and community development, Dekma Bolivia protects the region's ecology and supports growth amongst local communities.
CINMA concession workers measuring and mapping trees in the forest.
Since 2005, the CINMA-San Martin forest operations have been carefully carried out to conserve biodiversity in the concession - which is home to more than 32 species of mammals, 18 species of birds, diverse reptiles, and a myriad of insects. Among the species that play a crucial role in the local ecosystems are the giant armadillo, ocelot, and giant anteater, all of which are classified as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The area is also home to other at risk indicator species like the black spider monkey and jaguar. The presence of these keystone animals point to the existence of a balanced ecosystem with the right conditions for all living beings within the trophic chain.
Parallel to their conservation efforts, Dekma Bolivia initiated a reforestation program in 2013 to regrow timber species that have been previously harvested. To achieve this, Cedro and Mara seeds are sown in areas where logging and extraction occurred.
Lastly, the presence of Dekma-Bolivia in the region has contributed to the control of illegal settlements that encroach upon the forest for agricultural purposes. Through vigilant and continuous monitoring of the forested areas, the company promptly reports the emergence of illegal activities to local authorities. This proactive approach has effectively reduced and deterred illegal mining, farming, poaching and settlements.
Forest-positive products for export
This map of the Cinma-San Martin concession shows it in relation to its broader geographic context. Click here to learn more.
Did you know?
The presence of community forest enterprises like Dekma Bolivia helps to conserve ecosystem services by warding off illegal poaching, timber extraction, mining, and deforestation for agricultural production.
Bolivia is the twelfth most biodiverse country in the world, and is home to more than 2,194 species of amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles. 5.4% of these species are endemic and are not found in any other place in the world.
A 2017 study suggested that Bolivia's mature forests absorbed an average of 40.8 TgC/year during the period 1980–2010. Since 1 gC = 3.67 gCO2, this corresponds to 150 million tCO2/year.